Saturday, October 28, 2000

Two photos

Thursday, October 12, 2000

Say hello to 'Sparky' of Linfield football

A revised version of this, adding Catball player Mikaela 'Sparky' Viloria, was posted on 5/21/2015

Originally posted Dec. 11, 2011
Sparky? Linfield football?

Meet Marcus "Sparky" Gonzales, a Wildcat defensive end from Honolulu (St. Louis School). He lettered for the ‘Cats in the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. In the photo, he’s with his mother after a 2011 game on Maxwell Field.

Also, greet Steve "Sparky" Davis, who lettered in football for Linfield in the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons. In his photo, he's wearing a Linfield football uniform.

How did Sparky Gonzalez get his nickname? “I … remember … always being called Sparky,” he said. “I asked my parents how I got the name and they tell me that it was kind of an evolution of names. My real name is Marcus, so I guess in the child's (way) of saying my name it went from Marcus to Marky, then from Marky to Sparky and it stuck…”

The highlight of Gonzalez’s time as a Linfield football player was creating “friendships with my teammates that I now consider brothers,” he said.

It was “awesome” to have a successful Linfield football career, he said. “I (enjoyed being among) my ‘brothers’ for countless hours a week, putting in the time to get better and continue the Linfield legacy … The bonds (between us) will last forever…I couldn’t be any happier with the success I've shared with them.”

For the ‘Cats, Sparky Davis was a linebacker in the 1968 and 1969 seasons and a kicker after that. His straight-ahead kicking made him Linfield's leading football scorer in the 1970 season. During it he “booted” a 33-yard field goal with nine seconds left to beat PLU, 16-13, on Franklin Pierce High School field in Parkland (Tacoma area), Wash.

Davis, who lives in McMinnville, is a 1968 graduate of North Salem, Ore., High School and earned a Linfield bachelor of science degree in business. His vital behind-the-scenes role in Wildcat football is honored by his enshrinement in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.What are the roots of Davis' "Sparky" nickname?

He was among Linfield students who lived in the McMinnville Fire Department downtown for room and board. In return, he was a volunteer firefighter.

Dalmatian dogs are commonly associated with fire departments as being faithful companions of firefighters. The nation's #1 fire department Dalmatian is "Sparky" the fire dog. Steve's fellow McMinnville firefighters gave him the nickname.

There’s another Sparky Davis angle, too. The Davis family has a long history of being electricians and in the electrical supply contracting trade. Sparks are associated with electricity. But, as Steve points out, there are no sparks “if you do it right!”